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C. E. Morgan

Författare till The Sport of Kings

2+ verk 714 medlemmar 41 recensioner 1 favoritmärkta

Om författaren

C.E. Morgan is an American writer, born in 1976. She is a graduate of Berea College in Kentucky and of Harvard Divinity School (master's in theological studies). She has published several short stories and essays. 'All the Living' is her first novel and won a Whiting Writers' Award. She was awarded visa mer the 2016 Windham-Campbell Literature Prize in fiction and 2016 Kirkus Prize in fiction for her second novel, The Sport of Kings. (Bowker Author Biography) visa färre

Verk av C. E. Morgan

The Sport of Kings (2016) — Författare — 428 exemplar
All the Living (2009) 286 exemplar

Associerade verk

20 Under 40: Stories from The New Yorker (2010) — Bidragsgivare — 168 exemplar
A Circle in the Fire and Other Stories (2013) — Inledning, vissa utgåvor44 exemplar


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It was an awful lot of verbiage. Somewhere in the middle of this verbose novel, set in the borderlands of the slavery-haunted South, the author unexpectedly turns meta and writes,
Or is all this too purple, too florid? Is more too much - the world and the words? Do you prefer your tales lean, muscular, and dry, leached of excess and honed to a single, digestible point? Have I exceeded the bounds of the form, committed a literary sin? I say there's no such thing - any striving is calcined ash before the heat of the ever-expanding world, its interminability and brightness, which is neither yours nor mine. There aren't too many words; there aren't enough words; ten thousand books, all the world's dictionaries and there would never be enough; we're infants before the Ohio coursing its ancient way, the icy display of aurora borealis and the redundancies of the night sky, the flakes of snow common and heartbreaking...
Well, yes, I understand that confronted by the ineffable timelessness of this world (and the horrors it contains) that it seems one could pour word after word in perpetuity down its black mouth and never fill it, but it did become too much for me, actually. The whole novel is a lot of a muchness, certainly in flowing florid authorial musing, and in the end in plot development, in which incest gets thrown in to the mix not because it is actually needed to add depth or propulsion but because when you're going for too much muchness, you've simply got to have some incest in there somewhere.

Yet the novel has plenty going for it, still. Morgan pins her native state of Kentucky to the examination table and dissects it with clear eyed animus. A provocative parallel is drawn between slavery and modern horse racing, with the latter an outlet for continuing notions of eugenics and purity through forced breeding and a hateful expression of innate superiority that warps the soul. And if Henry Forge's late conversion from hard racist to gentle humanitarian seems a tad too easily won, at least the triggering mechanism is believable, and the change satisfying.
… (mer)
lelandleslie | 20 andra recensioner | Feb 24, 2024 |
I read a story by Morgan in the New Yorker's 20 Under 40 issue and was mightily impressed. Her novel set in Appalachia lived up to my expectations. Her writing style can be occasionally baroque but the simplicity and cleanness of the narrative balanced wonderfully with her writing.
monicaberger | 19 andra recensioner | Jan 22, 2024 |

Morgan writes a book that in many ways parallels the filly at the forefront of the tale. It starts from behind in the sense the reader isn't quite sure what kind of writer this is going to be or whether the book is really going to engage. But before you know it, the plot is galloping along full bore, and suddenly you, as a reader, have a sensation that the whole thing could derail. It's as though the author has so many talents that she doesn't know which ones to bring to bear and when, making the whole novel simultaneously brilliant and terribly flawed. Honestly, it felt a little bit like reading a collaboration of V.C. Andrews, the screen writers for "Dallas" and Wallace Stegner, or perhaps James Michener. Yeah, hard to imagine, right?

To further complicate matters, the themes are big ones - - power, racism, sexism, and family. Morgan also spans huge chunks of time so there's a sense that the book is epic in scope.

I'd say there's a five star book in here, but I don't really think there is. What there is, is a five star author who when she harnesses her power and exercises a little more restraint, is going to write something super brilliant, and I'm excited to see what it is. Hopefully she didn't exhaust herself completely with this effort.

The plot really focuses on three main characters, Henry, his daughter, Henrietta, and Allmon, a groom. We get the back story on all three, and the characters are all interesting if not terribly likable. Henry, going against the wishes of his father, turns his inherited farm into a horse breeding facility, and he sees Henrietta as the heir to all he has worked for and the family name. Henrietta seems compliant, but is in fact, pretty wild and rebellious, and this rebellion ensnares Allmon in a pretty untenable situation. Something he is familiar with because nothing in his life has gone well, and I do mean nothing.

The critic in me wasn't totally wild about the long passages of description which are beautifully rendered, but would have been more impactful in smaller doses. The author really shows her talents here, but it does slow the pace and make you want to skim.

This book won the Kirkus Prize for Fiction in 2016. It was up against the nominees listed here: I've only read two of the books on the list. I most certainly think this one was much better than [b:The Underground Railroad|30555488|The Underground Railroad|Colson Whitehead||48287641] which addresses similar subject matter in many ways, although perhaps harder to get through due to the length and some of the description. [b:A Gentleman in Moscow|29430012|A Gentleman in Moscow|Amor Towles||45743836] was tighter and more polished, and for me, more enjoyable to read overall. But this author absolutely is showing more flashes of brilliance and potential so I can see why this one won.

This book would be outstanding for a book club discussion, but unfortunately, half the club probably won't finish it.

… (mer)
Anita_Pomerantz | 20 andra recensioner | Mar 23, 2023 |
I found this book very dark and depressing. The title is a bit misleading, as horse racing is only a backdrop for a story of the Forge family and their former slaves' history, and Henry Forge's desire to build a legacy. There are many triggers in this book including racism, slavery, abuse of children, women and animals, rape, incest, suicide, drugs, language and stereotyping. The characters are well-drawn, but not particularly likeable. It appears to be an ambitious effort to write an epic; however, there are many paragraphs that seem unnecessary, with nonsequiturs thrown in occasionally. I am sure the author had a good reason for these passages, but I could not discern it.… (mer)
Castlelass | 20 andra recensioner | Oct 30, 2022 |



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